Traveled to Columbus, Ohio this weekend to run the Columbus Marathon/Half Marathon. I have been having problems with my calves cramping during the last miles, so the last few weeks have been spent trying to figure out a cure for this problem. Of course, if you look it up on Google , runner's world etc. you get all kinds of reasons that this may be happening. I decided to do 2 things, roll my calves several times a day with my "stick" and up my potassium consumption. I had no idea that the daily amount of potassium was 4700mg! Yikes! I was no where close to that! Thought it was worth a try...so I have been eating sweet potatoes , white potatoes all baked and making sure to eat the skins. Upped my yogurt consumption, bananas, apples. I still wasn't getting the whole amount, but certainly was better than before. The stick is no treat either, man thats hurts! I found a couple of places on my calves that were really knotted and worked on these, again, figured it couldn't hurt. I've been drinking my water, cutting down on the Diet Coke...And, bought a pair of compression sleeves , I read they might help also, something has got to help, right? Unfortunately, I haven't been running as much as I should have been though, a couple of short runs during the week and maximum 8 mile long runs on weekends, since my last half almost a month ago, some weeks I only ran once during the week and the long run. Was not feeling real confident. The race started at 7:30 in downtown Columbus. We were staying with friends, about a half hour drive away from downtown, left about 5:30 and they dropped my husband and I off around 6. It was chilly, about 48 at 6. Not too many people there yet, I love early starts for races, but in these bigger ones, where you have to get there so early to find parking etc, kind of a pain killing all that time, especially when it is kinda cold. However, no lines at the porta-pottys!! We walked around and around and around.....sat on the curb for awhile, I checked out the corrals, had our pictures taken a few times. Finally I decided I might as well get to my corral. They would not let anyone, besides runners in the corrals so my husband and I parted ways. There were 4 corrals, I was in the last one of course. All I kept saying in my head was, Please don't let me get cramps, please don't let me get cramps. I had been standing for so long that my hips started aching and then it seemed like everything was aching! Squatting seemed to relieve the aching, so I kept doing squats periodically. Still dark out and cold, but wait, I think they are starting the National Anthem, thank goodness! They also had fireworks...it was cool!!!!! However, that was for the first wave of corrals A and B...darn! About 20 minutes later they sang the anthem again and more fireworks and we were on our way. I felt really stiff and the backs of my legs were aching, but that happens frequently when I start off, unfortunately this would be my state for the whole race! Bright spot...... , I would say between miles one and two I kept thinking I heard my name being called. I thought I was hallucinating because I didn't know anyone in Columbus. Looked to my right and there was one of my best friends in the world holding a sign and yelling my name! Her daughter was also running the half. I knew her daughter was running, but we don't live close anymore and I had no idea that she was going to the race to watch her daughter. Almost made me cry. I have never had a sign held for me! I have to admit that I did not notice too much of the scenery. I was really feeling rotten, my back hurt, my legs ached, I had the wooden feet feeling and I was maybe at mile 5, a long way to go! All I kept thinking is that I cannot walk this whole darn thing, it will take me forever! I tried to look around and take in the surroundings, but my mind was really playing games with me today, things like just sit down and call your friends to come get you, you are such a loser, your legs are gonna cramp up any second now! So.......at the next aid station I took a salted caramel GU, which are wonderful by the way, and decided to suck it up! Started running more, walking less, I could not seem to increase my speed though. Did start to notice where I was running, ran past Capital University, some really beautiful neighborhoods, parks. I have to say the crowd support was phenomenal. I have run In Cleveland and Detroit and although I enjoy both of those, Columbus had the best crowd support! It was constant throughout the whole 13.1. A couple of signs that caught my eye were " You are running better than our government" " My mother made me sit out here with this stupid sign and where are you going anyway?" " You feeling lousy? you PAID to do this!" I was still struggling, but all of sudden is was mile 8 and I started to think I was going to finish after all. I had been trying to stick with the 3 hour pace people, but by this time they were way ahead of me. That is how slow I was going. Right foot started cramping and I am thinking oh no, here we go. I just kept on doing what I was doing, run a minute, walk a minute and then Mile 9, 10, 11, 12 and finally approaching the end. There was a mile marker for 13, but I have never run such a long .1 before! I thought the finish line was never be in sight, but suddenly there it was and I had done it and did not get calf cramps! I don't know if it was because I was going slower than usual or my pre race routine the weeks before, all I know is that I did not get the terrible cramps. Finished in 3:13 something, which considering how bad I felt, I was kind of happy with that. I really thought it was going to be worse than that. Actually out of the 4 Halfs I have done since June, this was my best time. Has not been a great year for time this year. Came in 61 out of 96 in my age group. I hope this doesn't sound like boasting, but I learned a lot about myself, I can do more than I think I can and I am not a quitter!!!!!! The statement on the shirt and medal was quite appropos for me this year!